Announcements

Radical Mischief: A Conference Inviting Experiment in Theatre, Thought and Politics

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.294  Tuesday, 21 November 2017

 

From:        Hardy Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         November 19, 2017 at 11:23:47 AM EST

Subject:    Radical Mischief: A Conference Inviting Experiment in Theatre, Thought and Politics

 

Radical Mischief: A Conference Inviting Experiment in Theatre, Thought and Politics

 

20-21 July 2018

The Other Place theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon 

 


Born of the pioneering collaboration between the University of Birmingham and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), Radical Mischief offers an unmissable opportunity to be involved in an urgent and open conversation about what thought and theatre can do in our time at the RSC’s centre for research and development, The Other Place.

 

This conference invites participants to address the most important issues of our time in an open and exciting, inter-disciplinary and sector-crossing conversation. From the financial crash to war in the Middle East; from popular nationalism to fundamental questions about the value of both art and education: we live in a bewilderingly changing world. This conference will explore new ways in which we can work together not only to define but also to respond to its many challenges. 

 

In the spirit of the new democracy we seek to promote, this event will experiment with the traditional conference form. There will be no uninterrupted, pre-written papers; instead, there will be two provocative plenary conversations, between high-profile figures with challenging views, intended to inspire open debate. The conference will then curate a series of focused conversations in different formats, including active participation and open space technology, led by artists, scholars and conference participants.  

 

We are pleased to announce that the Conference will kick off with a conversation between Emma Rice and Professor Jonathan Dollimore.

The event will also feature an exciting mix of scholars, artists and journalists such as: Professor Dympna Callaghan, Nadia Latif, Professor Kiernan Ryan, Dr Catherine Silverstone, Hassan Abdulrazzak, Professor Julia Lupton, Anders Lustgarten, Lyn Gardner, Professor Peter Holbrook, Juliet Gilkes Romero, Dr Abigail Rokison-Woodall and Professor Richard Wilson.

For more information, or to register for the conference, visit: 

www.birmingham.ac.uk/rmc2018

 

 

 

B&L 11.1

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.292  Saturday, 18 November 2017

 

From:        Sujata Iyengar <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         November 17, 2017 at 2:56:32 PM EST

Subject:    B&L 11.1

 

The General Editors of Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation are delighted to announce the release of Volume 11.1, “Global Shakespeares in World Markets and Archives,” edited by Alexa Alice Joubinhttp://www.borrowers.uga.edu/

 

This multimedia-rich issue includes a musicological explanation of world music in contemporary productions of Elizabethan Drama, by Kendra Leonard; an exploration of “post-race” Shakespeare in South Africa, by Adele Seeff; Sujata Iyengar’s discussion of the life of objects in three international screen versions of OthelloJeff Butcher’s exposition of Hamletism and Leftism; Richard Burt’s analysis of “Unread ‘Letters’” in Shakespeare; and Christy Desmet’s essay on digital Shakespeare curation. We also publish review essays about Peter Sellars’s Midsummer Chamber Play (Carol Mejia LaPerle) and Five Kings (Fiona Ritchie and Jennifer Drouin), and a book review by Alexa Alice Joubin of Emily Sun’s Succeeding King Lear.

http://www.borrowers.uga.edu/

 

Sujata Iyengar, Professor of English

Co-general editor of Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation

Department of English

University of Georgia

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (editorial correspondence)

 

 

 

"Shakespeare Statistics"

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.288  Monday, 13 November 2017

 

From:        Hartmut Ilsemann <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         November 10, 2017 at 4:50:56 AM EST

Subject:    "Shakespeare Statistics"

 

The web page “Shakespeare Statistics” <http://www.shak-stat.engsem.uni-hannover.de/> might attract your attention. Originally it was devoted to statistics concerning the dramatis personae and the structure of Shakespeare plays, but ever since rolling delta and rolling classify became available in 2013 the site records authorship analyses that had been carried out with these new stylometric tools of R Stylo.

 

When I looked into the context of the Michael Egan/MacDonald P. Jackson debate on Thomas of Woodstock on your site I became aware that the new results are a step forward in the determination of authorship questions. According to rolling delta Woodstock is a collaboration of Rowley and Shakespeare <http://www.shak-stat.engsem.uni-hannover.de/eauthorthwoodstock.html>. A preliminary thesis would give it a rather early date (not 17th century as Jackson believes), but Shakespeare. may have revised it later. Traditional stylometry seems to rely heavily on averages covering the whole corpus of one author, and results are achieved by comparing strong discriminators. Rolling delta uses a huge number of weak discriminators but is statistically sound and able to return collaborations.

 

Yours sincerely

Hartmut Ilsemann

 

 

 

SBReviews: SHAKSPER Book Reviews Seeking Reviewers

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.283  Monday, 6 November 2017

 

From:        Annalisa Castaldo <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         November 1, 2017 at 5:43:54 PM EDT

Subject:    SBReviews: SHAKSPER Book Reviews Seeking Reviewers

 

The Book Review panel is looking for reviewers to read and review books written in 2017! If you have a title you are interested, please let me know the title and your contact information. If you are interested in reviewing but do not have a specific title in mind, please let me know your areas of specialization/interest and your contact information. All levels of scholar and practitioner are welcome to review! The reviews are peer reviewed by the panel.

 

Please send inquires to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Thank you.

 

Annalisa Castaldo

Associate Professor of English

Widener University

 

 

 

Speaking of Shakespeare with WNET's Stephen Segaller

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.282  Monday, 6 November 2017

 

From:        John F. Andrews <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         November 2, 2017 at 2:03:37 PM EDT

Subject:    Speaking of Shakespeare with WNET's Stephen Segaller

 

WNET Producer Stephen Segaller 

Previews the Upcoming Season

Of "Shakespeare Uncovered"

 

Monday, November 6, at 8 p.m.

The National Arts Club

15 Gramercy Park South, New York

No Charge; Open to the Public

 

Stephen Segaller oversees all of WNET's national programming, a portfolio that includes American Masters, Great Performances, Nature, and PBS NewHour Weekend. In partnership with the BBC's Richard Denton, he's now enriching our cultural lives with Shakespeare Uncovered, each installment of which features a guide who focuses on a single play. He'll share highlights from such past programs as Antony and Cleopatra (Kim Cattrall), King Lear (Christopher Plummer), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Hugh Bonneville), Othello (David Harewood, Romeo and Juliet (Ralph Fiennes), and The Taming of the Shrew (Morgan Freeman). And he hopes to provide some preview material from The Merchant of Venice, which will be hosted by F. Murray Abraham and will include highlights from the production that Karin Coonrod directed last summer in the Ghetto.  

 

To learn more about Shakespeare Guild offerings, including this year's Gielgud Award (presented to Sir David Hare at London's Guildhall on Sunday, October 15), visit www.shakesguild.org or email John F. Andrews (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

 

 

 

 

Anglo-Italian Renaissance Studies (Routledge)

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.281  Wednesday, 1 November 2017

 

From:        Michele Marrapodi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         October 28, 2017 at 1:41:21 AM EDT

Subject:    Anglo-Italian Renaissance Studies (Routledge)

 

Dear Colleagues,

 

I am pleased to inform you about the latest and forthcoming publications in the Anglo-Italian Renaissance Studies series (Routledge).

 

 

Michele Marrapodi (ed.), Shakespeare and the Visual Arts. The Italian Influence.

https://www.routledge.com/Shakespeare-and-the-Visual-Arts-The-Italian-Influence/Marrapodi/p/book/9781472489234

 

Description

Critical investigation into the rubric of 'Shakespeare and the visual arts' has generally focused on the influence exerted by the works of Shakespeare on a number of artists, painters, and sculptors in the course of the centuries. Drawing on the poetics of intertextuality and profiting from the more recent concepts of cultural mobility and permeability between cultures in the early modern period, this volume’s tripartite structure considers instead the relationship between Renaissance material arts, theatre, and emblems as an integrated and intermedial genre, explores the use and function of Italian visual culture in Shakespeare’s oeuvre, and questions the appropriation of the arts in the production of the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. By studying the intermediality between theatre and the visual arts, the volume extols drama as a hybrid genre, combining the figurative power of imagery with the plasticity of the acting process, and explains the tri-dimensional quality of the dramatic discourse in the verbal-visual interaction, the stagecraft of the performance, and the natural legacy of the iconographical topoi of painting’s cognitive structures. This methodolical approach opens up a new perspective in the intermedial construction of Shakespearean and early modern drama, extending the concept of theatrical intertextuality to the field of pictorial arts and their social-cultural resonance. An afterword written by an expert in the field, a rich bibliography of primary and secondary literature, and a detailed Index round off the volume.

 

 

Sarah Dewar-Watson, Shakespeare's Poetics. Aristotle and Anglo-Italian Renaissance Genres.

https://www.routledge.com/Shakespeares-Poetics-Aristotle-and-Anglo-Italian-Renaissance-Genres/Dewar-Watson/p/book/9781409406396

 

Description

The startling central idea behind this study is that the rediscovery of Aristotle's Poetics in the sixteenth century ultimately had a profound impact on almost every aspect of Shakespeare's late plays”their sources, subject matter and thematic concerns. Shakespeare's Poetics reveals the generic complexity of Shakespeare's late plays to be informed by contemporary debates about the tonal and structural composition of tragicomedy. Author Sarah Dewar-Watson re-examines such plays as The Winter's Tale, Pericles and The Tempest in light of the important work of reception which was undertaken in Italy by pioneering theorists such as Giambattista Giraldi Cinthio (1504-73) and Giambattista Guarini (1538-1612). The author demonstrates ways in which these theoretical developments filtered from their intellectual base in Italy to the playhouses of early modern England via the work of dramatists such as Jonson and Fletcher. Dewar-Watson argues that the effect of this widespread revaluation of genre not only extends as far as Shakespeare, but that he takes a leading role in developing its possibilities on the English stage. In the course of pursuing this topic, Dewar-Watson also engages with several areas of current scholarly debate: the nature of Shakespeare's authorship; recent interest in and work on Shakespeare's later plays; and new critical work on Italian language-learning in Renaissance England. Finally, Shakespeare's Poetics develops current critical thinking about the place of Greek literature in Renaissance England, particularly in relation to Shakespeare.

 

 

Gabriela Dragnea Horwath, Theatre, Magic and Philosophy. William Shakespeare, John Dee and the Italian Legacy.

https://www.routledge.com/Theatre-Magic-and-Philosophy-William-Shakespeare-John-Dee-and-the-Italian/Horvath/p/book/9781472436276

 

Description

Analyzing Shakespeare's views on theatre and magic and John Dee's concerns with philosophy and magic in the light of the Italian version of philosophia perennis (mainly Marsilio Ficino, Pico della Mirandola and Giordano Bruno), this book offers a new perspective on the Italian-English cultural dialogue at the Renaissance and its contribution to intellectual history. In an interdisciplinary and intercultural approach, it investigates the structural commonalities of theatre and magic as contiguous to the foundational concepts of perennial philosophy, and explores the idea that the Italian thinkers informed not only natural philosophy and experimentation in England, but also Shakespeare's theatre. The first full length project to consider Shakespeare and John Dee in juxtaposition, this study brings textual and contextual evidence that Gonzalo, an honest old Counsellor in The Tempest, is a plausible theatrical representation of John Dee. At the same time, it places John Dee in the tradition of the philosophia perennis-accounting for what appears to the modern scholar the conflicting nature of his faith and his scientific mind, his powerful fantasy and his need for order and rigor-and clarifies Edward Kelly's role and creative participation in the scrying sessions, regarding him as co-author of the dramatic episodes reported in Dee's spiritual diaries. Finally, it connects the Enochian/Angelic language to the myth of the Adamic language at the core of Italian philosophy and brings evidence that the Enochian is an artificial language originated by applying creatively the analytical instruments of text hermeneutics used in the Cabala.

 

 

Rocco Coronato, Shakespeare, Caravaggio, and the Indistinct Regard (forthcoming).

https://www.routledge.com/Shakespeare-Caravaggio-and-the-Indistinct-Regard/Coronato/p/book/9780815376347

 

About the Author

Rocco Coronato is an Associate Professor of English Literature at the University of Padova, Italy. A visiting academic at Amsterdam, Harvard, Warburg Institute, Brown University, Chicago, he has written more than 70 articles. His articles and chapters have often appeared on international journals and collection of essays. His monographs include: Shakespeare’s Neighbors: Theory Matters in the Bard and His Contemporaries (University Press of America, 2001); Jonson Versus Bakhtin: Carnival and the Grotesque (Rodopi, 2003); La mano invisibile: Shakespeare e la conoscenza nascosta (Pacini, 2011); La linea del serpente: caos e creazione in Milton, Sterne e Coleridge (Pacini, 2012); Intorno a Shakespeare: re e confessori, marinai e vedove, delinquenti e attori (Aracne, 2013). His research interests include the influence of classical and early modern European sources on English writers from the 16th to the 18th century, the application of complexity theory to literary interpretation and the digital humanities.

 

 

Graham Holderness, Shakespeare and Rome (forthcoming).

https://www.routledge.com/Shakespeare-and-Rome/Holderness/p/book/9781409410157

 

Description

In the first full length study to relate Shakespeare's Roman works to a longer history of the city of Rome, author Graham Holderness reads Shakespeare's Roman works”Titus Andronicus, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra and Coriolanus”via a double perspective, the ancient and the modern. He argues that for Shakespeare, Rome was not simply the republic and empire of antiquity, but a contemporary place that possessed its own meanings, retained its own legacies from the past, and was in the process of generating new meanings. Holderness presents a new take on the conflicts fought out in the plays, proposing that they were not just ancient Roman conflicts with relevance for sixteenth-century England, but were also shaped in early modern encounters with Rome as a place of fallen greatness and cultural revival, of growing ecclesiastical power, and of consolidating religious authority. He explains the ambivalence towards Rome that speaks throughout the Roman works, less in terms of the conflicts between ancient writers over the grounds of republican and imperial visions, and more in terms of St Augustine's polarization of Rome into earthly and heavenly cities, of sixteenth-century Rome's cultural and aesthetic character, and of the tense relationship for English Catholics between Protestant and papal authority. Finally the book extends the perspective to include the range of modern meanings attributed to Rome, and shows how these enter into critical readings, theatrical performances and screen adaptations of Shakespeare's Roman works.

 

 

For a full list of titles in this series, please visit https://www.routledge.com/Anglo-Italian-Renaissance-Studies/book-series/AIRS

 

 

New book proposals for both single-author studies and collections of essays are very welcome.

 

Best wishes,

Michele Marrapodi,

University of Palermo,

General Editor.

 

 

 

Shakespeare at Rhodes 2017-18

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.280  Thursday, 26 October 2017

 

From:        Shakespeare at Rhodes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         October 25, 2017 at 3:13:55 PM EDT

Subject:    Shakespeare at Rhodes 2017-18

 

 

 

2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the Pearce Shakespeare Endowment, which has brought dozens of engaging Shakespeareans to Memphis.


 

Please join us for these free upcoming events:


www.rhodes.edu/shakespeare

 

 

October 26-28, 2017

SHAKESPEARE'S WOMEN 
(8pm, Ewing Studio)

Rhodes alumna Leslie Reddick ’82 directs a compilation of scenes and monologues honoring the women in Shakespeare's plays. The Theatre Department's Ewing Studio was recently renamed in honor of longtime director and Professor Cookie Ewing.

 

 

    

November 2, 2017

AYANNA THOMPSON, Rhodes’ 2017 Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar

Teaching Shakespeare with Purpose
(5pm, Palmer 203)
Thompson will lead a workshop to discuss how to teach Shakespeare's plays as living, breathing, and evolving texts. 
First 20 attendees will receive a free copy of Thompson's book; PDP certificates available.

 

Shakespeare, Race, and Performance:

What We Still Don’t Know

(7pm, Hardie Auditorium; 6:30pm reception)
Nontraditional casting — the practice of casting actors of color in roles that were originally imagined as white characters to be performed by white actors — is a common phenomenon in British and American theatre and film. Yet very little research has been conducted on the effects of perceptions of race on the reception of classical performances. Scholars interested in audience reception have mostly been limited to anecdotal sources: theatre reviews, interviews with artists, and overheard conversations. Thompson aims to challenge our scholarly understandings of audience responses to nontraditional casting. Thompson's visit is co-sponsored by the Rhodes College chapter of Phi Beta Kappa; the Africana Studies Program; the Department of English; and the Department of Theatre.

 

 

March 2, 2018

SONNET CONTEST!

Shelby County students are invited to submit their original composition for Rhodes College's inaugural Sonnet Contest, sponsored by the Department of English's Creative Writing Program and the Pearce Shakespeare Endowment. Winners will receive a prize book and have their poem published in Rhodes' literary magazine, The Southwestern Review. Rhodes English Professors will select the top sonnet in two categories: Shakespearean sonnet (14 lines of iambic pentameter with an ABABCDCDEFEFGG rhyme scheme), and non-Shakespearean sonnet (where the only constraint will be 14 lines). Sonnet submissions must include name, age, grade, school or home school, and contact information, and must be e-mailed by Friday, March 2, 2018 to <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>.

 

 

March 15, 2018

ISLANDOLOGY: Geography, Rhetoric, Politics 

(7pm, Blount)
MacArthur Fellow Marc Shell will discuss his recent book on islands, from More's Utopia to Shakespeare's Tempest, from Plato's Republic to contemporary politics. Shell is the Irving Babbitt Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University, where he also serves as Faculty Associate at Harvard's Center for the Environment. Co-sponsored by English, Environmental Studies & Sciences, Latin American and Latinx Studies, Modern Languages and Literatures, Political Economy, and the Project for the Study of Liberal Democracy.

 

 

 

Shakespeare Operas: Watch MACBETH in English

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.272  Tuesday, 17 October 2017

 

From:        Gene Tyburn <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         October 15, 2017 at 12:18:34 AM EDT

Subject:    Shakespeare Operas: Watch MACBETH in English 

 

http://tyburnoperas.com

 

[Editor’s Note: The following is from the above web site. –Hardy]

 

It has been my desire for many years to make the world of opera more accessible to the American public. The opera, a four-hundred-year-old infatuation, is European born and integral to the life of many.

 

It has long been my dream to create opera works that would have popular appeal for Americans, thus I have created works from Shakespeare's plays that interested me the most and that I felt had the best opportunity to be good opera material.

 

It has always been a wonder to me that the greatest collection of literature in the world has no great opera successes based upon the works of Shakespeare. It is well documented that the Europeans have written many adaptations of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Macbeth, Antony & Cleopatra, and Othello.

 

These works seem to have a small modicum of success in Europe but these undisputed great works do not resonate with the American public over all. It is my opinion the fault lies in the fact that few of the composers created melodic arias for the main characters.

 

So the task as I see it has been left to me to adapt Shakespeare’s works into rhyming couplets and find composers who are inspired by my librettos to write lyrical, bel canto versions that will have a mass appeal for the English speaking public. I have used the best of the English language to make the works seem Shakespearian in tone, but use words that can be easily understood by the English-speaking public so there is immediate comprehension.

 

As of this date I have two works completed by a genius of opera composition, a Mr. Gerard Chiusano, and a whimsical composition of Iago by a marvelous composer, Mr. Flip Hayner. Newly added are several wonderful libretto adaptations from Chekhov now being perused for assignment. 

 

of this date I have two works completed by a genius of opera composition, a Mr. Gerard Chiusano, and a whimsical composition of Iago by a marvelous composer, Mr. Flip Hayner. Newly added are several wonderful libretto adaptations from Chekhov now being perused for assignment. 

 

I hope you enjoy the librettos and our attempt at exposing the English-speaking public to the marvelous world of opera.

 

Yours,

Gene Tyburn

 

To see a voice and piano version of Macbeth, go to YouTube and type TYBURNSMACBETH 

 

 

 

Book Announcement: Shakespeare and Feminist Theory

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.271  Tuesday, 17 October 2017

 

From:        Marianne L Novy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         October 13, 2017 at 1:48:08 PM EDT

Subject:    Book Announcement: Shakespeare and Feminist Theory

 

https://www.bloomsbury.com/us/shakespeare-and-feminist-theory-9781472567079/

 

Shakespeare and Feminist Theory

By Marianne Novy

 

ISBN: 9781472567079

Imprint: The Arden Shakespeare

Series: Shakespeare and Theory

 

Are Shakespeare’s plays dramatizations of patriarchy or representations of assertive and eloquent women? Or are they sometimes both? And is it relevant, and if so how, that his women were first played by boys? This book shows how many kinds of feminist theory help analyze the dynamics of Shakespeare’s plays. Both feminist theory and the plays deal with issues such as likeness and difference between the sexes, the complexity of relationships between women, the liberating possibilities of desire, what marriage means and how much women can remake it, how women can use and expand their culture’s ideas of motherhood and of women’s work, and how women can have power through language. This lively exploration of these and related issues is an ideal introduction to the field of feminist readings of Shakespeare.

 

 

Table of contents:

 

1. Introduction 

2. Likeness and Difference

3. Desire

4. Marriage

5. Motherhood

6. Language

7. Between Women

8. Work

Bibliography

Index

 

 

 

CFP: Applying Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.270  Tuesday, 17 October 2017

 

From:        Robert Shaughnessy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         October 16, 2017 at 2:47:27 PM EDT

Subject:    Call for Papers: Applying Shakespeare 

 

The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham 

Centre for Cognition, Kinesthetics and Performance, University of Kent 

Guildford School of Acting, University of Surrey 

 

Applying Shakespeare

Call for Papers 

 

The Shakespeare Institute

Friday 9 March 2018 

 

Shakespeare’s work continues to occupy a unique position within contemporary education, performance and popular culture.  Applied theatre is an umbrella term for a range of performance forms, often in non-theatrical spaces and with an agenda of personal or social change. When these two fields combine, the results can be transformative for those involved. This is an opportunity for practitioners and scholars to come together to consider the uses of applied Shakespeare, sharing best practice and considering the efficacy and impact of new and existing projects. 

 

This one-day symposium considers how Shakespeare is used within applied theatre contexts.  We are inviting papers and contributions on Shakespeare’s relation to, for example: learning difficulties; diversity; disability arts; mental health; performance in custodial settings; therapeutic interventions; accessibility; social inclusion; pedagogy; relaxed performances; activism.

 

Confirmed speakers include Dr Sue Jennings (Dramatherapist), Phil Novis (Governor, HMP Leicester) Kelly Hunter (Artistic Director, Flute Theatre), and Ben Spiller (Artistic Director, 1623 Theatre).

 

Please send 250-word proposals to Rowan Mackenzie, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 18 December 2017. As well as 20-minute papers, we welcome contributions in a variety of formats, for example workshops, performance demonstrations, and posters. Please indicate clearly in your email the name of presenter(s), institutional affiliation(s) and email address(es). Proposers can expect to hear if their abstract has been accepted by 9 January 2018, and registration will open soon afterward. Any enquiries can be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

Conference Organisers: Rowan Mackenzie, The Shakespeare Institute, Nicola Shaughnessy, University of Kent, Robert Shaughnessy, University of Surrey

 

Robert Shaughnessy 

Director of Research 

Guildford School of Acting

University of Surrey 

 

 

 

Book Announcement: Steam-Driven Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.267  Friday, 13 October 2017

 

From:        Alan Young <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         October 12, 2017 at 4:47:47 PM EDT

Subject:    Book Announcement: Steam-Driven Shakespeare

 

STEAM-DRIVEN SHAKESPEARE OR MAKING GOOD BOOKS CHEAP: FIVE VICTORIAN ILLUSTRATED EDITIONS.

Alan R. Young

  • New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press, 2017.
  • 7.25 x 10.5 inches
  • cloth, dust jacket
  • 240 pages
  • ISBN: 9781584563594

Steam-Driven Shakespeare considers five major Victorian illustrated editions of Shakespeare, published by Charles Knight, Robert Tyas, George Routledge, John Cassell, and John Dicks between 1838 and 1869. These five publishers, all working in relatively close proximity to each other, dominated the Victorian market for illustrated editions of Shakespeare for some thirty years. Their success was dependent upon the introduction of steam-driven printing presses and paper-making machines, and other new technologies. 

 

The publishers’ innovative use of such resources enabled them to mass produce and distribute inexpensive books to an increasingly wide readership. The opening chapter of the book explores in some detail the alliance between Charles Knight and the printer William Clowes. Their pioneering experiments in using steam-driven printing to publish books illustrated with wood engravings laid the groundwork for a revolutionary change in the publishing of books and established the technological foundation upon which the four other publishers could build. 

 

Successive chapters, beginning with that on Charles Knight, show how each publisher, when adjusting to the technological changes, had to assemble a coordinated workforce (editors, compositors, proof readers, artists, engravers, printers) that could meet the deadlines imposed by the timetable of serial publication, the format used for the initial publication of all five editions.

 

The book explores the genesis of each edition, the ideological bent of each publisher, the makeup and workings of each publishing workforce, the format and pricing structure of each edition, its use of illustrations, and distribution systems. As the successive chapters reveal, the editions are very different from each other. Examining those differences reveals the range of ways publishing houses operated when employing new technologies.

 

Alan Young is Professor Emeritus of English at Acadia University. He has written extensively on English Renaissance literature, the literature of Atlantic Canada, and the reception of Shakespeare in the Victorian era.

 

 

 

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